|Abdul Fattah Ismail|
Our friendly neighbors to the north, Canada, have a lot of action at the moment. The NHL Playoffs are underway, and fans can peruse tons of interactive marketing content to skate over. They also have another election coming up, and need to fit it in the iPhone. Once they do enter the ballot box, be careful of bragging on your social networks.
A prescient bit of legislation looms for Canadians planning to vote in next month’s elections. In Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act, this statement looms: “No person shall transmit the result or purported result of the vote in an electoral district to the public in another electoral district before the close of all of the polling stations in that other electoral district.”
The original piece rests here on Mashable, and holds interesting discussion themes. The law was designed in 1938 to prevent radio stations from transmitting results. Nowadays, the people use social media networks, especially Twitter, to get news. Elections Canada, the adminster of federal elections, will inform citizens of the provision and enforce if necessary.
We have seen social media play extensively across the globe for disaster relief and political organization among youth groups. We have not, however, seen possible government censorship of electoral data. Especially when digital networks are so interconnected, a policy to subjugate every hashtag (#elxn41) seems fruitless. The Canadian government will due their diligence to protect the system’s integrity. It is appropriate for them to worry about data leaking across provincial boundaries. A social precedence of this scenario does not exist where the government could apply a statute. At the same time, debate is part of the electoral process, regardless of the forum. It is unclear if any communications advocacy groups have spoken out at the moment. Citizens have voiced their opinion on the matter, foreshadowing a future referendum. Tweet your ballots in peace, Canada.